So you may be thinking…she speaks French? As if the awesome blogging wasn’t enough! Haha no, sorry to disappoint but I am not bilingual. I can speak French to an extent along with Spanish and igbo (native Nigerian language) but not sufficiently to say that I am bilingual sadly. So I’m limited to the use of the English language. Anyway, back to my blog post. This may be a sensitive topic for some but I think it is one that we can all relate to in some way, I hope it gives you some insight and encourages you.
For those still unsure about the blog topic, the title translated into English is – “Where are you father?” and was inspired by a French song “Papaoutai” by Stromae (link at the bottom of page). The issue of absent fathers is a silent but painful condition that seems to have become pandemic and regardless of race, faith or social background it is still evident. Now I’m about to outline how I view “absence”, in the obvious and not so obvious form.
- Fathers that have outwardly abandoned their child
I’m sure some of you may have personally experienced or witnessed this unfortunate circumstance, where a father makes the decision to step down from his responsibility as a father and bounce. Now please do not confuse this with what happens following divorce as this is different. A divorced father can still be fully committed to his children without being married to the mother; the two emotional connections are separate. I am talking about a man who has decided to walk away completely from his partner, his children and the moral/financial responsibilities that come with that. This could be due to a fear of being “inadequate”, “not being ready” or “not interested”. The implications of this choice on children can range from poor performance at school, teen pregnancy, crime, depression and drug/alcohol abuse. However what these men fail to realise is that being a present and willing father is enough for a child, perfection is not a requirement. And by walking away, they lose their opportunity to leave a legacy in that child and make way for another man to raise and influence that child.
- Fathers that neglect their children due to work
You may wonder…did she write this by mistake? No! I believe every man and woman should work and some fields of work require you to be away on business for conferences, meetings etc. Fair enough. However when these events occur so much to the extent that you are missing birthdays, Christmas, summer holidays – one may ask, are you really present in your family life? This can apply to mothers also btw…but today I am focussing on fathers. Honestly, a child can grow up in a household with married parents yet be raised by a single mother. Tell me – is that right? If you are this man or you are a child of a father like this, address it early on. Work should NEVER come before family; it should not become an idol or an addiction. As with everything else in life – moderation is pertinent.
- Fathers that neglect their children due to their faith
Yup! I went there. This is about to get deep. We’re going down under. I’m a Christian so I will use this as my example. You may wonder, shouldn’t my faith strengthen my family life? This is TRUE! However it does depend on how this is interpreted, if you are SO invested in your ministry at church that you neglect everything/everyone else in your life – do you not think God will hold you accountable for this?
“Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4
“Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
A man’s ministry should not be his mistress, he is a leader in the home and father to children and his ministry should be in the home also. I’m not saying don’t attend night vigils, Sunday service or bible study however do not neglect/forsake the gift that God has graciously given you. Let your kids not develop bitterness towards their faith due to your poor choices.
The long and short of this post is that our relationship with our fathers is precious. Whether you are a daughter or a son, the role of a father is important and when they are absent the consequences of this does manifest at some point in your life. So if you are a father (married or divorced) or father to be I urge and encourage you to hold your ground in your home and be the best version of yourself at home. Let your children feel your presence. And if you’re a child and your father is absent in others ways, do not forfeit that relationship, fight to restore what has been lost. It certainly is a relationship worth time and investment from both sides. You don’t have to be a statistic; you can make that change today.
Peace n Love.
French song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oiKj0Z_Xnjc
Awesome spoken Word: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfB6erVRkko